One man said the “truth hurts, not the searching after, the running from.” I see so many who are running away from the truth about America. I understand that coming face to face with the painful truth about a country one loves can be extremely painful but I also know that solutions to our problems can’t be found until we stop running from the truth. For those who are followers of Christ, he taught us: “the truth will set you free.”
So, what is the truth about America? You’ll not find that truth in the voices you hear on talk radio and network television. Many listen to Rush Limbaugh, Anderson Cooper or Glen Beck, as if they were infallible sources of truth. The real and only source of truth is the divinely inspired Word of God. It is God conversing with the hearts of men through his own Spirit.
My in-laws came to visit a couple months ago. In fact, my wife’s father had come to help me put in a new hot water heater. We worked well together. I don’t have a mechanical bone in my body so he turned screw drivers and twisted wrenches and I held the flash light for him. But as I stood there watching things I didn’t understand I began to feel something was not right. My head felt light. My stomach felt queasy. My wife had grilled steaks and baked potatoes but I had no appetite. I finally dismissed myself and went to bed. Later that night a gut-wrenching sickness gripped me.
Americans are feeling like something isn’t right. There is a queasiness deep within. There is a gut feeling that things are not as they should be. According to a recent poll conducted by The Hill Newspaper, 69% of Americans believe our country is in decline. 83% are worried about America’s future. So, what is wrong with America?
We see a strange group of people Occupying Wall Street. We observe copycat demonstrations going on all over the country. Angry, violent flash mobs are robbing convenience stores and beating patrons. Rage seems to be reaching a boiling point. We are more politically polarized than ever. The promise to unify us seems to have morphed into a determination to divide us.
I see a vast number of Americans who desire to see but they cannot. They want to know but they can’t. Jesus said, “The knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom of heaven has been given to you, but not to them.” (Matt. 13:13) The multitudes are crying, “What’s wrong with our society? What’s wrong with our country?” Isaiah said, “You will be ever hearing but never understanding; you will be ever seeing but never perceiving. For this peoples' heart has become calloused; they hardly hear with their ears, and they have closed their eyes.” Jesus quoted that verse to his disciples and then he said to them, “blessed are your eyes because they see, and your ears because they hear.” – (Matt. 13:16) A clear perspective of this problem cannot be achieved unless it is viewed through the lenses of truth found in the Word of God. Any other perspective muddies one’s view of what is really happening.
This is the truth about America. We have exalted our government to be our god. It has become our idol. The American people keep voting for more and bigger government. The poor no longer look to God. They look to the government for more welfare. The ignorant no longer look to God. They expect the government to educate the masses. We no longer look for wisdom in the Word of God. Instead, we have removed that book from our schools. We presume that government can solve the problem of alcoholism. We pretend that Government is winning the war on drugs and eliminating poverty. We expect government to integrate us and teach us to live together in love and harmony.
People are angry because their god has failed them. The pain of disappointment and disillusionment is causing them to hate their government. They hate Bush. They hate Obama. They hate Republicans and Democrats. They have no confidence in the Congress. Only 9% are pleased with the job Congress is doing. (CBS, NY Times poll) The corruption in their government has reached unprecedented levels. Something has gone terribly wrong but an unrepentant people can’t perceive what it is.
As a history teacher I teach my students that the one thing we learn from history is that we don’t learn from history. History certainly does repeat itself. America is not suffering from a new and mysterious ailment. America suffers from the same things that affected previous nations and empires of the past. We have eyes but we fail to see. Isn’t this affirmed by the fact we have seen a multitude of nations try socialism and communism and everyone without fail plunged into societal darkness and experienced economic failure. Russia, China and numerous eastern European countries are fleeing a failed system. Who can explain the mysterious and incomprehensible fact that our country (America) is moving toward socialism and big government? Why are we abandoning what brought us success and embracing what has brought failure to other nations? It is because we have eyes but we cannot see.
One day Jesus stood on a hill overlooking the city of Jerusalem. He opened his heart and revealed the great compassion he had for his people, “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing!” (Matt. 23:37)